Odd Bits

And we have a winner!

September 1, 2015

As usual, a book drawing here on the Margins brought out interesting answers, including memories of earlier trips to Iceland and an introduction to the breathtaking photography of Jamie Young, which makes my efforts look like a toddler’s scribbles.*  As usual, I’m glad we pick a winner in a totally random way. And our totally […]

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Independence Lost:

August 28, 2015

Those of you who’ve been hanging out in the Margins for a while now know there are some types of history books that can be counted on to make me say “I want to read this”: Books that tell a story we think we know from a radically different persepctive Books that deal with people […]

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In which I give away a copy of Song of the Vikings

August 25, 2015

Over the last few weeks, the topic of Nancy Marie Brown’s Song of the Vikings has come up once or twice here on the Margins. (Okay, more than once or twice.) Some of you may have broken down and bought a copy. For those of you who haven’t, I am pleased to announce that I […]

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Road Trip Through History: 871 +/-2

August 21, 2015

In 2001, an Icelandic construction crew was excavating a basement for a new hotel in the historic district of Reykjavik when they made a major archaeological discovery which included not only the oldest relics of human habitation in the area, which date from before the “official” settlement day of 871CE, plus or minus a year […]

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Road Trip Through History: Reykholt

August 18, 2015

In the thirteenth century, Reykholt was one of the three major estates controlled by Snorri Sturluson, poet, chieftain, and would-be king of Iceland.  Reykholt was wealthy estate and luxurious by the standards of the time.  Snorri literally built a house fit for a king, planning renovations inspired by the palace of the Norwegian king.  His […]

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Road Trip Through History: The Settlement Center

August 14, 2015

As I’ve mentioned before, Iceland is a small place and much of it is mountain desert–think the Rockies without the pines. In what passes for arable land, the present lives on top of and alongside the past. Dig the foundation for a new building and the odds are that you will find the foundation of […]

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Road Trip Through History: Reykjavik

August 7, 2015

My Own True Love and I started and ended our Viking history adventure in a city no Viking ever saw: Reykjavik, literally Smoky (or perhaps steamy) Bay. It is fundamentally a grey city, built of concrete, stone and glass in an array of textures and shapes that save it from bleakness and livened by shots […]

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From The Archives: Squeeze This!

July 28, 2015

I know it’s hard to believe, but even history bloggers sometimes think about something other than history.  We knit, canoe, wrestle bears, feed people, drink whiskey, and play with the cat.* Whenever we get the chance, My Own True Love and I pull on our dancing shoes and two-step and waltz to a Cajun band. […]

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Talk Amongst Yourselves

July 24, 2015

My Own True Love and I are on our way to Iceland, where we expect to have lots of history-buff adventures.  I’ve scheduled some blog posts for the time we’re gone, but I thought it was a good time to introduce you to history blogs written by fellow readers.* (Many thanks to Jane S. Poole, […]

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Are You Listening to History?

July 17, 2015

Over the last three years I’ve become a fan of podcasts. They’re great to listen to when I’m doing things that require my hands and eyes but only a small part of my brain: chopping vegetables, washing dishes, reconciling bank statements, sorting through the pile of mystery papers on the floor next to my desk. […]

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